On 1 October Hexpol completed the acquisition of 80 per cent of the shares of Italian compounder Mesgo Group from previous owner Francesco Caldara and co-owners. Hexpol describes Mesgo as “an industry leader in high performance elastomers as fluorocarbons and silicone”. In addition, Mesgo also specializes in conventional rubber compounds and thermoplastics. The major customer segments Mesgo focuses on are industry, consumer products, transportation and automotive. Mesgo Group reports annual turnover of around 100 million euros, with around 180 employees in six facilities.
Uni-Select Inc. has completed the acquisition of 100 per cent of the shares of PA Topco Limited (The Parts Alliance), the second largest national independent distributor of automotive aftermarket parts in the UK. As previously announced, the £205 million pricetag was fully funded with debt from available credit facilities.
On the 4 July, as the USA began to celebrate its independence day, Continental AG’s UK subsidiary (Continental Tyre Group) announced it had bought Bandvulc (B.V. Environmental Ltd.), one of only two substantially sized independent retreaders left in the UK. Legally, the takeover establishes Bandvulc as a wholly owned subsidiary of Continental UK Group Holdings Limited. T&A understands Bandvulc’s existing management team are to continue to lead the business.
Italian news reports have led to a flurry of speculation that Pirelli is up for sale and could be considering working with an Asian partner. The speculation centres on reports published by Corriere della Sera suggesting Pirelli chairman Marco Tronchetti Provera is working on bringing in an Asian shareholder/partner/owner. Bloomberg named Yokohama Rubber Co. and Zhongce Rubber Co. as potential investors.
Cooper Tire & Rubber Company reports that it has completed the sale of its 65 per cent ownership in Cooper Chengshan (Shandong) Tire Company Ltd (CCT) to Chengshan Group Company Ltd on 1 December for approximately US$262 million net of taxes and including dividends in accordance with the previously announced option agreement. Earlier reports suggested […]
Russian petroleum industry colossus Rosneft reports the closure of its agreement to purchase a 50 per cent share in holding company Camfin S.p.A., which owns a 26.19 stake in Pirelli & C. S.p.A. This acquisition gives Rosneft a 13 per cent indirect share in the tyre maker and the right to nominate candidates for Pirelli’s Board of Directors – a right the company chose to exercise immediately. Five new Rosneft-nominated individuals joined the Board of Directors on 10 July, filling vacancies created by five resignations that were tendered that same day.
Michelin says it has implemented a partial share buyback scheme and under this will acquire up to one million Compagnie Générale des Établissements Michelin shares. The company says it has “called on the assistance of an Investment Services Provider to meet certain objectives” of the share buyback programme authorised at Michelin’s Annual Shareholders Meeting on 17 May 2013.
Continuing our coverage of developments in the UK tyre retail sector, Tyres & Accessories reports on the following 15 companies in its 2014 top 20 leading UK tyre retailers report. After the market leading five, the next five companies in the top 20 are the fastest growing in our ranking, and probably in the market as a whole. Like Micheldever/Protyre, McConechy’s Tyre Service has grown significantly since our last survey, adding seven branches to its number and pushing its total up to 52. This brings the company’s total back to pre-recessionary levels and could be read as another indication of improving conditions in the market.
Sales at Continental’s ContiTech division are expected to increase five per cent year-on-year in 2014, but the plan for the coming decade is for much larger growth. In an interview with German financial daily Handelsblatt, division head and ContiTech AG Executive Board chairman Heinz-Gerhard Wente shared on expansion plans for the newly-enlarged ContiTech: “The goal within the next ten years is to again double the turnover of ContiTech, including Veyance. This is by no means utopian.” This means turnover of around €11 billion.
Additional space to expand Michelin’s Waterville truck and OTR tyre plant in Canada has been found – at the town’s civilian airport. According to Tire Review, on 10 March councillors in Nova Scotia’s King County voted to close Waterville Municipal Airport on 30 September and make the airport land available for purchase by the province or Michelin. While the tyre maker has not confirmed any expansion, it is understood that the layout of the plant and its equipment is such that expanding onto the land currently occupied by the airport is the only option open to Michelin at the Waterville site.
Riders purchasing selected Michelin motorcycle tyres between 3 March and 30 April can look forward to receiving a part of their purchase price back from the tyre maker. Michelin is offering a £25 gift card when two (fitted) tyres are purchased in a single transaction and £10 for one (fitted) tyre from the Power SuperSport, Pilot Power 3, Pilot Road 4 and Anakee III ranges.
Goodyear is showcasing its a BA-BB label rated selection of SUV tyres at the Geneva Motor Show. Tyres shown include a BA labelled tyre on the new Nissan Qashqai 2014 edition, itself a new fitment for the company and a BB label on its Eagle F1 Asymmetric SUV tyre. According to Goodyear, the release follows on from the developments necessary for the AA concept tyre previously exhibited at Geneva and which subsequently was launched in a mass-production car tyre form. The message is that driven by its award winning EfficientGrip Performance, which features a BA label across a majority of sizes offered, Goodyear is now focusing its attention to the SUV and cross-over markets.
A report in the Financial Times, which focussed on the expectations of German car producer companies, showed that younger people are shunning buying new vehicles. According to the report, the average age of a new car buyer in Germany rose to a record 52.2 years in 2013, three years older than the average a decade ago, reflecting a trend observed in other industrialised countries.
Depending on whether you prefer the figure for continuing operations or the total consolidated result, Trelleborg Group net sales either rose 1.0 per cent – or declined 14.9 per cent – to SEK 21,262 million (£1.96 billion) in the 2013 fiscal year. The consolidated result was down from SEK 25,237 million in 2012 and includes the impact felt from the formation of TrelleborgVibracoustic, the joint venture formed with Freudenberg in 2012. Operating profit for 2013 came to SEK 2,815 million (£259.47 million).